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food additives and products. Populations are also heterogeneous aggregates, and whereas people are bound to a country, the technical contributions from the advances in science are not. Commodities are traded, and capital moves from one country to another to a limited extent. Simple projections of food and population trends can be very misleading. The declining ratio of land to man tells us little about the food supply, which is more dependent upon advances in science and economic efficiency than on land.
The scarcity of resources that characterizes the low income countries is pervasive and dominates. Many of the serious resource problems associated with high rates of population growth would remain unsolved even if the food supply in low income countries were to increase at a higher rate than the rate of population growth.
As a step toward clarification, I turn to several conclusions that emerge from the analysis presented in this paper.
On the anxiety with respect to famine there is relief in the following conclusion: The probability is very low that widespread famine will occur during the near future, the next decade or two. Surplus stocks of farm foods are at record levels in the high income countries with excess agricultural capacity. Meanwhile, the production of food grains in the low income countries has risen sharply, notably the production of wheat in Pakistan and India.
The forward thrust of agriculture is strong throughout major parts of south Asia. Wheat and rice production in these long-settled, populous parts of the world is showing gains in productivity resulting from the advances in biological-agricultural research and from the increasing supplies of cheaper fertilizer materials. Barring a return by the governments of these countries to their former cheap food policies, which had depressed the economic incentives of farmers to purchase and utilize modern agricultural inputs, and barring the occurrence of widespread wheat and rice diseases or pests, the supply of domestically produced food grains will continue, during the near future, to increase relative to population growth.
The low income countries in south Asia that were incurring a large and an increasing deficit in food grains, and thus becoming ever more dependent during the 1950's and early 1960's on food grain imports, have already begun to reduce markedly their dependency on imported food grains. The prospects, restricted to the foreseeable short view, are that their dependency on food grains from the countries with excess agricultural capacity will continue to decline. The high income countries with excessive agricultural capacity will undoubtedly be under increasing economic pressure to reduce the quantity of resources allocated to agricultural production.
The real costs of producing farm foods are declining as a consequence of the gains in agricultural productivity. As these lower costs are gradually transformed into lower food costs, they become a consumer surplus. The conclusion that follows is that the economic staee is set for a substantial part of the